Peter Navarro, a former White House advisor under President Donald Trump’s administration, was sentenced Thursday for refusing to comply with a subpoena from the Jan. 6 Committee.
The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia released a statement Thursday, announcing, “Former White House advisor Peter K. Navarro, 74, was sentenced today to four months in prison for refusing to appear before the U.S. Congress to give testimony and produce documents as required by a subpoena he received from the United States House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol.”
Navarro was sentenced to four months in prison by U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta. The judge also ordered Navarro to pay a $9,500 fine. However, Justice Department prosecutors had requested that Navarro be imprisoned for six months and receive a $200,000 fine.
According to the Justice Department, Navarro previously served as Trump’s advisor on trade and manufacturing policies. Navarro was indicted on June 2, 2022, after refusing to comply with a subpoena requiring the former advisor to provide documents requested by the Jan. 6 Committee, as well as a subpoena to provide a deposition to the committee.
During Thursday’s sentencing hearing, Mehta criticized Navarro for appealing to executive privilege as the reasoning behind the former White House advisor’s refusal to comply with the Jan. 6 Committee’s subpoenas, according to Fox News.
“The words executive privilege are not magical dust… it’s not a get out of jail free card,” the judge said. “To not engage with the committee to work through the issues… to simply not engage, there’s no basis for it.”
Speaking as his own defense at Thursday’s hearing, Navarro once again explained that he refused the committee’s subpoenas because he believed the former president had invoked executive privilege.
“When I received that congressional subpoena, the second, I had an honest belief that the privilege had been invoked, and I was torn. Nobody in my position should be put in conflict between the legislative branch and the executive branch. Is that the lesson of this entire proceeding? Get a letter and a lawyer? I think in a way it is,” Navarro stated. “I am disappointed with a process where a jury convicted me, and I was unable to provide a defense, one of the most important elements of our justice system.”